Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Amending the U.S. Constitution

In recent weeks, Congress has proposed and worked on amendments to the U.S. Constitution regarding the national debt. The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution as a living document, and procedure to allow the Constitution to change with the times was built in. That said, amending the Constitution is not an easy process.

The Article V. of the U.S. Constitution states that there are two ways to amend and there are two ways to ratify amendments:

Article. V.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

List of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution:

Ratification process for amendments:

Synopsis of amendment and ratification procedure:

For indepth analysis of the Amendment and Ratification procedures, read the
Constitution of the United States: Browse, 2002 Edition & 2008 Supplement: Mode of Amendment

Article contact: Kim Harp

Friday, November 18, 2011

Charities and Volunteering

Kansans are well known for giving their time, talents and dollars to others in need. We especially think of how we might share something of what we have during this season of celebrations and gifts. Below is a update of resources from a KGI blog written by Kim Harp in 2009 on volunteering and charitable giving.

Giving to Charities
(Information from Attorney General Derek Schmidt)

For Charities and Donors
(Information from the U.S. Better Business Bureau)

Kansas Charity Check
(Includes a "Charity Search" feature which allows you to see basic information on charities. Some organizations are exempt from registering. A list of these types of organizations can be found in the law, K.S.A. 17-1762)

United Way of the Plains and the 211 Telephone number:
(Find an organization to donate to or volunteer with through the United Way)

Community Health Charities of Kansas and Missouri
(Community Health Charities of Kansas & Missouri gives employees the freedom to support the local health charities of their choice through payroll deduction)

Global Impact
(Assure help for the world’s most vulnerable people by giving to charities working in developing countries around the world)

Find volunteer opportunities at:
Governor's Mentor Program
(Kansas Mentors is a statewide mentoring partnership that connects existing mentoring programs with each other and serves as a resource center for communities wishing to start a program. Kansas Mentors works to promote the great mentoring opportunities found throughout the state and to find ways to recruit more Kansans to become part of these efforts)

Kansas Volunteer Commission
(The Kansas Volunteer Commission (KVC) is a governor appointed commission that serves to promote and develop volunteerism throughout Kansas by connecting nonprofit organizations to each other while also providing resources and support to local service organizations and individuals)

Create the Good
(Be a force for good... whether you have 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days)

(Search volunteer opportunities near your location)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Medicaid Reform

This week Governor Sam Brownback and Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., accompanied by KDHE Secretary Robert Moser, M.D., Aging Secretary Shawn Sullivan and SRS Secretary Robert Seidlecki, announced plans to reform the state's Medicaid system. The plan is "based on three criteria: improving quality care for Kansans receiving Medicaid; controlling costs of the program; and long-lasting reforms that improve the quality of health and wellness of Kansans." It instigates a person-centered care coordination program called KanCare. The KanCare plan is based upon Medicaid statistics and public forum meetings held this past summer. Parts of the plan are subject to Legislative approval. KanCare will take effect January 2013.

This plan includes renaming and reassigning duties among the Kansas Department on Aging, Kansas Department on Health and Environment, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and the Juvenile Justice Authority.

Watch the video of the announcement:

See the text of the announcement:

Read the executive summary:

Learn more through the Frequently Asked Questions:

See a chart of the reassigned agency duties:

Public input from stakeholders report which instigated these changes:

Medicaid Public Forum summary:

Current Medicaid statistics:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Thursday, November 3, 2011

For Kansas Kids Online

Several Kansas state government agencies provide resources and fun pages online for children. Below is a sampling of what you can find:

Kansas Kids
("A place for the Sunflower State's youngest citizens to discover all sorts of fun and interesting things about Kansas." Provided by the Office of the Kansas Secretary of State's)

Kansas Historical Society Students' Portal
(Online games, cool things, famous Kansans trading cards, explore the State Capitol, archeology activities, Kansas Kaleidoscope, printable pages, activities for younger children, etc.)

Kids' Zone (KDHE)
("Cruise the clean air highway." Provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Kids' Zone (State Treasurer)
(Learn about personal finance. Provided by the Kansas State Treasurer's Office)

Kid's CURB
(Topics such as energy, telecommunications, recycling, and internet safety, as well as helpful tips to save energy. Provided by the Kansas Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board.... CURB)

Kid's Road
(Provided by the Kansas Highway Patrol)

Kids Learn About Agriculture
(The Kansas Department of Agriculture provides links to great resources for kids to learn all about agriculture)

Kansas Safe Kids
(Dedicated to preventing unintentional injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. A lot of the material is more for adults but there is some material for children as well. Provided by a coalition of over 70 statewide and regional organizations and businesses)

Kansas Kids Kan
("The Kansas Kids Can Newsletter, published through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Waste Management, is designed for fourth grade students, but would be appropriate other grades as well. It contains information on waste and recycling issues with hands-on investigations related to the newsletter topic")

Kid Stuff!
(Though not an online activities page this site lists things to do in the Sunflower State that would especially appeal to children. Provided by the Kansas Travel and Tourism)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection)